Some of you may still be unaware, but basketball season kicked off on Friday and Baylor took down the Colorado Buffaloes more comfortably than I would have predicted. Let's take a look at what we learned, knowing that we are looking at a very small sample size.
Overall, it seemed as if playing Wichita State in the preseason did wonders for this team's toughness. After (supposedly) getting trounced by the Shockers in a closed scrimmage, Baylor followed it up by blowing the doors off of Memphis in another closed scrimmage and clearly carried over some of that momentum into this game.
This game was ugly, but I think that's something we're going to have to get used to seeing. Scott Drew has the most blue collar team he has had at Baylor and this year, an ugly game plays to our advantage.
I'm going to try and do these posts following all of our basketball games, and I'm probably going to experiment with several different formats until I find one that works. Today you're getting a bunch of observations one right after the other.
Kenny Chery played really, really well. He is not going to be Pierre Jackson by any means, but his shot is smooth. I'm not sure if any of his buckets touched the rim at all.
Taurean Prince's advanced stats continue to be mind boggling. 22.2 points per 40 minutes and 17.7 rebounds per 40 minutes. He is an absolute animal off the bench and my bias is hard to withhold - I just love the way he plays.
All accounts in the offseason pointed toward Heslip having his stroke back. His 4 of 6 from three concurs.
Speaking of Heslip, I really like him coming off the bench. I'm an OKC fan and still love what they used to do with James Harden (all of you Houston fans aren't allowed to say anything, I'm bitter) in bringing him off the bench for instant offense. And while Heslip is certainly no James Harden, he brings an immediate spark in the event that the starting five just isn't getting anything done. I was surprised that he wasn't out there at the tip, but I like this move by Drew and think it shows that he is still improving as a coach.
Ish Wainright looked like a freshman in his first start. Had a couple of turnovers and was a bit out of control but it's way to early to sell on the guy. Especially since he pulled 5 rebounds in only 13 minutes (good for a solid 15.4 rebounds per 40 minutes).
In the game thread I mentioned that Chery seemed unsure what to do at times, but even by the time the game ended it seemed as if he had adjusted to the D1 level and was very much in control of the game.
I do worry about this team dealing with foul trouble all year with the new rules. I'm planning a post later this week to discuss these rule changes further, but this is going to be an issue for us and our style of play. (It would be the year that we get a physical team, the NCAA changes the rules).
Royce O'Neale looks like the kind of guy who is going to make a difference for us come conference play. He plays smart and had ZERO turnovers in TWENTY-SEVEN minutes. Impressive.
Alright there is about a 1000 word dump on this game, next up is South Carolina, but in the meantime let's discuss the game/ask questions/etc. in the comments!
It's a wonderful time of the year when Baylor basketball and Baylor football are going at the same time.